ScotRail has urged rail users to plan their Christmas Eve journeys in advance as services are set to be severely impacted by the latest round of strike action.
Network Rail workers who are members of the RMT union are set to strike in the coming days and while the dispute over pay does not involve ScotRail staff, it will have a knock on effect on rail services.
The RMT union announced its members at Network Rail will take strike action from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on Tuesday, December 27.
This will result in the following impact on ScotRail services:
- Christmas Eve – Services will run as normal until around 3pm when they will begin to wind down to allow for critical engineering works. No train services will start after 6pm (except for the 6.15pm Cumbernauld – Motherwell) but some trains will still be in transit.
- Christmas Day – ScotRail does not operate services on Christmas Day.
- Boxing Day – No services will operate due to use of contingent Network Rail staff and the prioritisation of critical engineering works. ScotRail normally operates a reduced service across the Strathclyde region.
- Tuesday, December 27 – A later start-up of services. Most services on that day will start around 8am, but in some parts of the country, such as Stirling, there will be no trains running until 5pm. This is due to the shift start times of Network Rail signallers.
- New Year’s Eve – services will stop earlier than normal for usual Hogmanay closedown.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The union remains available for talks to resolve this dispute.
“But until the government gives the rail industry a mandate to come to a negotiated settlement on job security, pay and conditions of work, our industrial campaign will continue into the new year, if necessary.”
Services are due to operate as per the normal timetable between Wednesday, December 28 and Friday, December 30.
The rail operator has reminded supporters attending football games on Christmas Eve that services will begin to wind down from 3pm and should ensure they have planned their journey home in advance.
David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “We’re reminding customers that ScotRail services will be disrupted by over the Christmas period as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT.
“Services will be stopping earlier than usual on Christmas Eve, there will be no services on Boxing Day, and the first trains will start later than normal on Tuesday, December 27.
“We know this is really frustrating for everyone impacted and we’re urging customers to plan ahead and check their entire journey in advance.”